Mac mini late 2012

Dazza76

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2019
15
0
U.K
Hi guys. Just joined the forum as I need some thoughts and opinions.

I’ve currently got a mid 2011 mini. i5 dual core version. I’ve upgraded the ram to 8GB and the HDD to a 500gb SSD. It’s served me well over the last near 8 years but it does struggle with some tasks and is not able to support Mojave.
I’ve been offered a late 2012 mini i7 (2.3) with dual 480gb SSD’s and 16gb of Ram. My question is: how bigger jump in performance can I expect and do people expect that the CPU will be able to support future OS versions for a couple of years? The price I’ve been quoted is £485 (around $610 at today’s rate).

Cheers, Daz
 

marclondon

macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2009
323
40
London
I've just upgraded to a 2018 i7 Mini from a 2.3 i7 Mini I upgraded with 16 GB ram (although one 8 GB slot has failed) and a 512 GB SSD - it just isn't up to my work now and the new machine is a little monster. Personally I wouldn't throw money at such an old machine unless it's for tasks that are not urgent or not work-related, in which case your 2011 is probably OK anyway. The 2012 does run Mojave though. Can you try it out before buying? The big problem I ran into with my 2012 is with terrible browser performance that keeps stalling the machine, especially Safari.

PS - yes it's too expensive. I paid less than that for one with an HDD and 4 GB ram about 4 years ago.
 
Last edited:

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,203
2,530
Hi guys. Just joined the forum as I need some thoughts and opinions.

I’ve currently got a mid 2011 mini. i5 dual core version. I’ve upgraded the ram to 8GB and the HDD to a 500gb SSD. It’s served me well over the last near 8 years but it does struggle with some tasks and is not able to support Mojave.
I’ve been offered a late 2012 mini i7 (2.3) with dual 480gb SSD’s and 16gb of Ram. My question is: how bigger jump in performance can I expect and do people expect that the CPU will be able to support future OS versions for a couple of years? The price I’ve been quoted is £485 (around $610 at today’s rate).

Cheers, Daz
The price seems pretty high to me, at least in the US. For instance, this computer with a single SSD sold for $385 + $27.19 shipping: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Mac-Mini-A1347-late-2012-i7-3615-2-3GHz-16GB-480GB-SSD-OSX-10-12/303202952010?hash=item46984de34a:g:d3sAAOSwk-1Z6MO-
The 2012 Mini is compatible with macOS Catalina, but I wouldn't really expect it to get support much beyond that.
 

Dazza76

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2019
15
0
U.K
I've just upgraded to a 2018 i7 Mini from a 2.3 i7 Mini I upgraded with 16 GB ram (although one 8 GB slot has failed) and a 512 GB SSD - it just isn't up to my work now and the new machine is a little monster. Personally I wouldn't throw money at such an old machine unless it's for tasks that are not urgent or work-related, in which case your 2011 is probably OK anyway. The 2012 does run Mojave though. Can you try it out before buying? The big problem I ran into with my 2012 is with terrible browser performance that keeps stalling the machine, especially Safari.
Thanks for that. It’s interesting you had issues with browsers. I haven’t really suffered from that on the 2011.
I wouldn’t be using it for anything work related and as much as I’d like to, the 2018 models similarly spec’d up run at over £1500!
 

Dazza76

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2019
15
0
U.K
The price seems pretty high to me, at least in the US. For instance, this computer with a single SSD sold for $385 + $27.19 shipping: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Mac-Mini-A1347-late-2012-i7-3615-2-3GHz-16GB-480GB-SSD-OSX-10-12/303202952010?hash=item46984de34a:g:d3sAAOSwk-1Z6MO-
The 2012 Mini is compatible with macOS Catalina, but I wouldn't really expect it to get support much beyond that.
Alas everything has gone up in the UK since the currency tanked after the vote in 2016.
Good to know that the 2012 has got at least one more OS upgrade in it though.
 

marclondon

macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2009
323
40
London
Thanks for that. It’s interesting you had issues with browsers. I haven’t really suffered from that on the 2011.
I wouldn’t be using it for anything work related and as much as I’d like to, the 2018 models similarly spec’d up run at over £1500!

It's a work machine for me and I drive it hard with several browsers and many tabs open plus apps like Photoshop, the Office suite and a Windows VM. I also get about 30% off the retail price with educational discount and VAT reclaim, so it's more bearable costwise. I'm about to reattempt a 32 GB ram upgrade on the new one having failed with some first modules from Crucial I returned - the 8 GB ram is showing almost 100% use today and for the first time yesterday Safari stalled the machine...

I'd say you could look at the i3 machine rather than an old 2012 i7.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,203
2,530
Alas everything has gone up in the UK since the currency tanked after the vote in 2016.
Good to know that the 2012 has got at least one more OS upgrade in it though.
I too would suggest looking at the i3 2018 Mini instead of the 2012 if the 2012 is that expensive.
 

marclondon

macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2009
323
40
London

Dazza76

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2019
15
0
U.K
It's a work machine for me and I drive it hard with several browsers and many tabs open plus apps like Photoshop, the Office suite and a Windows VM. I also get about 30% off the retail price with educational discount and VAT reclaim, so it's more bearable costwise. I'm about to reattempt a 32 GB ram upgrade on the new one having failed with some first modules from Crucial I returned - the 8 GB ram is showing almost 100% use today and for the first time yesterday Safari stalled the machine...

I'd say you could look at the i3 machine rather than an old 2012 i7.
It's a work machine for me and I drive it hard with several browsers and many tabs open plus apps like Photoshop, the Office suite and a Windows VM. I also get about 30% off the retail price with educational discount and VAT reclaim, so it's more bearable costwise. I'm about to reattempt a 32 GB ram upgrade on the new one having failed with some first modules from Crucial I returned - the 8 GB ram is showing almost 100% use today and for the first time yesterday Safari stalled the machine...

I'd say you could look at the i3 machine rather than an old 2012 i7.
It’s the cost of upgrading the internal SSD that I find unacceptable. I know there’s the option of using an external boot drive but I’ve always preferred using an internal 500gb drive for boot.
 

Dazza76

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2019
15
0
U.K
You could get this now for £679 on the refurb store - it's only got a 128 GB SSD though, but you could take the SSD out of your old one and run it in cheap attached USB case for more fastish storage.

https://www.apple.com/uk/shop/product/FRTR2B/A/Refurbished-Mac-mini-36GHz-quad-core-Intel-Core-i3-Space-Gray?fnode=6c39c70914fd67a47406116fe1df47a59ee7b1d13f071be4dc88c6c500c1506472523d52e5f5f94820e3c8424a495e6146bd8019b94c31ea538cb396ef448932151ecbb4d6bf9b25b24814a8cc8d583d
The other issue for me with the new version is that I’d have to upgrade all my peripherals as well. Budget is a serious issue I’m afraid.
 

marclondon

macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2009
323
40
London
The other issue for me with the new version is that I’d have to upgrade all my peripherals as well. Budget is a serious issue I’m afraid.
I've not an issue with my stuff - the new Mini has two USB ports and both monitors I have are connected OK, one through HDMI to DVI as before and one through a £10 Thunderbolt to DVI dongle. The keyboard has two USB ports, one for mouse and in fact I could also run more USB ports off one of the monitors. Yes, I can't connect an old Firewire drive and directly a couple of other old USB external drives, but that's what the old Mini is for.

PS - this looks OK - three USB ports and an SD reader from one USB-C for £10.49:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/KiWiBiRD-USB-C-HUB-Type-C-to-USB-3-0-Adapter-SD-Micro-SD-TF-Card-Reader/123627225045?epid=26028690639&hash=item1cc8c1bfd5&enc=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&checksum=123627225045666405c547684694983f3ad4226780c0
 
Last edited:

iluvmacs99

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2019
244
114
Hi guys. Just joined the forum as I need some thoughts and opinions.

I’ve currently got a mid 2011 mini. i5 dual core version. I’ve upgraded the ram to 8GB and the HDD to a 500gb SSD. It’s served me well over the last near 8 years but it does struggle with some tasks and is not able to support Mojave.
I’ve been offered a late 2012 mini i7 (2.3) with dual 480gb SSD’s and 16gb of Ram. My question is: how bigger jump in performance can I expect and do people expect that the CPU will be able to support future OS versions for a couple of years? The price I’ve been quoted is £485 (around $610 at today’s rate).

Cheers, Daz
I also own the same mid 2011 mini i5 dual core with 8gb ram and SSD and I found that it also struggles with some tasks, namely video editing at 4K proxies and running photo editing apps that require more cores and a more powerful GPU like the Radeon series. I also thought about the 2012 mini Quad, but decided on a used Mac Pro with slightly better specs than the 2012 mini i7 you're looking at now. Well, the Mac Pro gave me 3x faster boost with most of the photo editing apps I use -- like 42 secs for DXO Photolab 2 to render a single 20MP with Prime as opposed to 2 mins and 50 sec with my Mini. Video editing is a breeze now with the Radeon RX580 in my Mac Pro. Chrome is faster also since it relies on the GPU for website rendering. I think you will get some kind of boost, but it really depends whether your applications take advantage of multi-threading. If it does, then the 2012 Core i7 will give you at least 2x speed boost. but if it doesn't the 2012 i7 won't as the single core performance isn't a quantum leap compared to your Mini 2011. The 2018 Minis are. OS wise, the 2012 supports Catalina, but do keep in mind that Catalina breaks 32bit applications. It won't run them, so if you are staying with the 2012 mini because you have some legacy products you want to run, I suggest High Sierra, not Mojave, would be your last OS. That's why my Mac Pro stays in High Sierra because Mojave had broken at least 2 of my apps.

The newer 2018 Minis will give a better boost in performance. namely in video editing with the T2 chip which will help with video encoding and keep your Mini 2011 for legacy products. The 2018 is newer and provides more bang for the buck for single and multi-core applications. The 2012 would only be a good speed boost for multi-core apps.
 

Dazza76

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2019
15
0
U.K
I also own the same mid 2011 mini i5 dual core with 8gb ram and SSD and I found that it also struggles with some tasks, namely video editing at 4K proxies and running photo editing apps that require more cores and a more powerful GPU like the Radeon series. I also thought about the 2012 mini Quad, but decided on a used Mac Pro with slightly better specs than the 2012 mini i7 you're looking at now. Well, the Mac Pro gave me 3x faster boost with most of the photo editing apps I use -- like 42 secs for DXO Photolab 2 to render a single 20MP with Prime as opposed to 2 mins and 50 sec with my Mini. Video editing is a breeze now with the Radeon RX580 in my Mac Pro. Chrome is faster also since it relies on the GPU for website rendering. I think you will get some kind of boost, but it really depends whether your applications take advantage of multi-threading. If it does, then the 2012 Core i7 will give you at least 2x speed boost. but if it doesn't the 2012 i7 won't as the single core performance isn't a quantum leap compared to your Mini 2011. The 2018 Minis are. OS wise, the 2012 supports Catalina, but do keep in mind that Catalina breaks 32bit applications. It won't run them, so if you are staying with the 2012 mini because you have some legacy products you want to run, I suggest High Sierra, not Mojave, would be your last OS. That's why my Mac Pro stays in High Sierra because Mojave had broken at least 2 of my apps.

The newer 2018 Minis will give a better boost in performance. namely in video editing with the T2 chip which will help with video encoding and keep your Mini 2011 for legacy products. The 2018 is newer and provides more bang for the buck for single and multi-core applications. The 2012 would only be a good speed boost for multi-core apps.
Thanks for that and for all the input so far. I'd definitely prefer a 2018 model and this thread has started to make me lean towards just saving up. My 2011 has lasted me nearly 8 years and it's only this year with Mojave that I've not been able to upgrade. At least the 2018 would give me years of support rather than only 1 or 2.
 

bigfatipod

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2011
225
87
For ~$600, I would definitely put it towards one of the 2018 minis. The bulk of that $600 is probably coming from the idea behind having two 480gb, which is certainly handy. But, for me, I would just grab a new machine and either up the internal SSD size or grab an external.
Even a year of warranty support from Apple is a factor that the 2012 just doesn't come with. If it was a quad 2012, that might be a different story - but even then, I might lean towards a nice 2018 model.

Good luck and let us know what happens
 

Dazza76

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2019
15
0
U.K
For ~$600, I would definitely put it towards one of the 2018 minis. The bulk of that $600 is probably coming from the idea behind having two 480gb, which is certainly handy. But, for me, I would just grab a new machine and either up the internal SSD size or grab an external.
Even a year of warranty support from Apple is a factor that the 2012 just doesn't come with. If it was a quad 2012, that might be a different story - but even then, I might lean towards a nice 2018 model.

Good luck and let us know what happens
It IS a quad core i7 but I’ve decided to just get a new credit card and go for one of the refurbed ones on the apple site. It’s only 8GB of ram but I can always upgrade that myself. Plus, if I get the 2018 version I won’t have to worry about it becoming unsupported within the next 2 years.
https://www.apple.com/uk/shop/product/G0W11B/A/Refurbished-Mac-mini-36GHz-quad-core-Intel-Core-i3-Space-Gray?fnode=f793d0ba0dbebc8ac69d881e832edc703ffc1af70306b0248f36b0c97bd6755abde3cd5f546bff75c9e4ec196cc5f93c65c43f4fce474ebdf6b3e10f09ef5c58e6b4f19b541cbd262b01ff186d91cfff
 

bigfatipod

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2011
225
87
Ah, I misread. But yes, I would still spring for the (any) 2018 models instead for a decent number of reasons. Enjoy!
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,201
1,876
New Jersey Pine Barrens
I think you made a good choice. But, FWIW, I'm still content with my 2012 2.6ghz quad Mini. Works fine for my 1080p video editing in Final Cut Pro and also runs Logic Pro fine. Don't especially care about compatibility with future operating system, I'm still running Sierra. I certainly haven't seen any problems with Safari or other "everyday" software.
 
  • Like
Reactions: StumpJumper

Ubele

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2008
631
97
I have a 2012 Mac mini i7 2.3 GHz with 16 GB of RAM and a 2.12 TB Fusion drive, running Mojave. It's still quite usable, but it's starting to feel a bit slow with my photo-editing apps. I agree with the others here who recommend getting a 2018 model. I'd upgrade to one myself if my 2012 model were my work computer (or if I had plenty of spare cash), but it's for home use, so I think I can get a couple more years out of it before I put it out to pasture as a media server.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Boyd01